Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February Fun

It was a whirlwind month that has gone by in a blink. It was full of fun, but a sigh of relief escapes me as it is nearing to a close. If you would like to look, there are a few pictures below.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Free 20 4x6 prints today only at Walgreens: 2/20/09


I need to make time for this today! This deal is perfect for all of these birthday pictures that have been sitting on my camera. Order the prints at Walgreens.com and use coupon code ONEDAY at checkout. Then choose to pick up in your local store so you don't have to pay shipping.

Build a Racecar on Saturday at Lowe's and save $10 off purcase

Lowe's is the place to be this weekend! Take your kids in to build this cool racecar as part of their popular Build and Grow Workshops...then shop around and save $10 off a $50 purchase. I know there are spring and household projects out there you guys are working on!

Click here for the coupon. Good through 3/2/09.
Have fun!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Extreme Spending Freeze?!

My husband passed this article on to me from Fox News about a New Hampshire family.

A family of four in New Hampshire is trying to spend just $1,500 for their groceries, household items and personal care expenses for an entire year

This brought back memories (and shivers) of my January Spending Freeze. Yes, its good to watch what you spend, but you still got to live life. The amount of brain energy spent stockpiling food items, knowing the sale store cycles and analyzing every purchase is draining. Life is short. This family isn't even going to go out to eat until their anniversary in....December?!

Good for them and I wish them the best of luck! I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that others are better at bargain shopping and saving tactics. As for me, I am taking daughter out for her 7th birthday dinner at Joe's Crab Shack (her pick). Do we need to? No, but we are going to enjoy every moment of it and am not going to regret it one bit!

Read more about this NH family here. here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Something New to Exercise

For several years, FSB Associates (a book marketing business headquartered in NYC) has been gracious to send me books to review and place on my Sara Says book review site. I love reading the variety of books and tossing in my own two cents worth on these books.

Someday I would love to be in some of these new and experienced author’s shoes and have published books out there for others to read and review. I try to keep that in mind with these books and know that someday time will allow me to start working on this goal.

To see the latest Sara Says review look below or to sread how Sara Says got started seven (7!) years ago click here,

Strength training. Interval training. Brain training! Studies have shown that aging causes your brain to deteriorate. This is not a news flash to any of us, but what I learned is that math calculations and reading aloud are the two most beneficial things you can do to keep your brain healthy and alert. I could read aloud all day to anyone who would listen, but as anyone who knows me, would not be surprised that I would rather do laundry (which I detest) or shell beans over sitting down and completing math problems every day.

Here is the solution! Train Your Brain: 60 Days to a Better Brain by Dr. Kawashima. This book is actually fun and is filled with daily mental exercises, self-tests and a personal logbook to track progress. I have actually been keeping this book in the car while I am waiting to pick up my daughters from school. They could even be completed during commercial breaks of American Idol or The Bachelor! Of course, I still enjoy the language and word memorization tests more than the math, but we got to sharpen all areas of our brain, eh?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

FreePINK Lotion at Victoria's Secret.

Free Victoria's Secret Pink Energizing LotionYou don't have to be 16 to get this free lotion from Victoria's Secret Pink collection. Print this coupon and get aFREE 1-oz. PINK Energizing Lotion.

Expires 3/2/09. No pruchase necessary.

Free ebooks

Download music, movies, books...soon you won't have to leave your keyboard for any shopping or entertainment.

Here is a site where you can download hundreds of books for free. The site seems a little cumbersome to just browse, but if know what you are looking for then this could be your ticket to more happy reading!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pizza for Penny

I really like Pizza Hut pizza (it was about our only pizza choice while growing up in a small town) We rarely get it now since we mostly use Papa Murphy's , but there is a pretty good deal going on right now for Pizza Hut lovers:

Buy one large and get a medium for a penny.

Click here for details.

Free Redbox Movies...anytime and anywhere!

FREE Redbox Rental CodeWatch out Blockbuster! Redbox now has free movie codes that are good for anytime (instead of their usual Monday free rental).

Use these two codes for a free DVD rental at any local Redbox: SHPNSVE2 or REDBOX.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Build a Jewlery Box with Kids on Valentines Day

Lowe's is offering one of their Build and Grow sessions this Saturday 10 AM at their store. Click here for details. We love these workshops and they are so much fun! Unfortunately, ;-( this one won't work into our Saturday plans and I know my girls would have love making them! Please let me know if you go and what you think...they are awfully cute!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Free Meal at T.G.I Fridays

Offer good with the purchase of one entree. Click here for the coupon. Expires March 1st.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bingo and Bugs for Seniors

We headed back to the senior center this week; this time with big sis in tow. Read about our previous visits here and here.

Megan had been feeling a little left out as Lucy had been talking about how much she liked going to the senior center and mingling with the older folk. I knew Megan would love it too and thought this was a justifiable reason to be a few hours late for first grade last Thursday. Megan's teacher agreed and it was a go!

I let the girls plan what they wanted to do and that included whipping up a giant batch of monster cookies, creating these adorable magnetic love bugs that we had first made a couple of years ago, and making some homemade Valentines.

The weather was clear and beautiful so that meant record seniors at the center. The seniors remembered and greeted Lucy and Max. Megan didn't allow herself to be a stranger and went around reciting the Valentine poems she had written. With Megan there, I noticed that Lucy tended to hang back a bit more and be more of an observer. I am glad we went and took Megan, but am comfortable continuing to let this be Lucy's special project.

Redbox Free Rental: Today (February 11th only)

FREE Redbox Rental CodeMake it a movie night! You can get a free DVD rental at your local Walgreens Redbox. Use code: WGREEN2. This can be used once per debit/credit card, so you can rent more than one for free by using different cards!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2 for 1 Lattes, Mochas, Cappucinos...at McDonalds?!

They are not bad! Actually they are pretty good!

Admittedly I have only tried their lattes, but did so with my friend Shannon (who in my opinion is a coffee expert). Now you can try a variety every day from 2-5 Monday-Friday with McDonalds and their 2 for 1 deal. For those of you that aren't coffee fans this will work for coke products too.

Click here for more info.

Living Entirely Online

Could you do everything you need to do in life online? I was thinking about this several months ago and find the idea somewhat intriguing. It wouldn't be a mentally or physically healthy situation, but think of all that you can and already do.

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Bills and Banking
  • Shop for clothes, toys, furniture...basically anything
  • Communicate
  • Connect and meet people
  • Investments
  • Entertainment (downloading music, movies, books)
  • Make Money
  • Get rid of your stuff (e-bay, free cycle, craigslist)
  • Education(earn degrees, take a class)
The list goes on and on. You would never ever have to leave your house. This is something that I would never try, but do think that it would be an interesting challenge for someone. Makes me think of that college kid that spent his spring break at Walmart. How long could you go without using any resources except for your computer to take care of all of your needs? hmmmmmm...?

Monday, February 9, 2009


Always being always up for trying something new, yoga has somehow crept into my life. I know it has become more mainstream and doesn't have that tree hugging, tofu eating and barefoot baring connotation anymore, but it is still something that took awhile for me to try. It is just me with my thinking of sweat equaling a good workout. How can stretching and holding poses really do anything that great for my body?

Well it can. I am not going to go as far to say that I can't live without my weekly yoga class or that it is the best thing since sliced bread, but I am going to say that there is something mental and physical about it that keeps me coming back for me.

The timing of the yoga class I attend is perfect for me. Sundays at 5 pm. Right at the end of a long week and following my tough tri group training class at 3, I have found it to be something I look forward to.

Where else can I learn so many new fun terms such as child's pose and down dog?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Linkage

There is so much information out there online. Here are more sites that could be worthwhile checking into.

Swapagift.com: The place to sell or trade your unwanted gift cards. Now...I love giftcards and when people give them to me they are usually places I go anyway so probably wouldn't use this, but I do find this a very intriguing idea. People are so clever with what they come up with!

Cartango.com: Girl meets Car: a website devoted entirely to helping women through the car shopping process and finding the perfect match. This site is very aesthtically appealing and easy to navigate. Just looking at it takes away the stress of car shopping.

EllieKay.com: America's Family Financial Expert. She's got a great tool center on her site that includes everything from budgeting, investing and debt management.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Krispy Kreme: Free Donuts with "Share the Love"

Need something different to pass out at work or school for Valentine's Day? Buy a dozen donuts at Krispy Kreme by February 14 and get 12 free Valentine’s Day cards as part of Krispy Kreme’s “Share the Love” promotion. On the back of each card, there is a free donut coupon on the back!

Serving at St. Joe's

It was cold out last night. Perfect night to bundle up, stay in and feast on chicken tortilla soup after being gone all day. Where did we go instead? The homeless shelter. It was not how you might picture. St. Joe's Emergency Family Shelter is a cozy house off MLK with room for five families to stay for a month. They have access to three meals a day with volunteers coming in to serve warm dinners. We volunteered with another family (thanks Andrew for setting it up) and were amazed with how inviting, clean, friendly and home-ish it all felt. In fact, Megan and Lucy wanted to spend the night and invite the other kids from there to their birthday parties (which was not supposed to be the point of the trip) ;-)

This trip was brought on by several reasons:
-We decided the girls could keep their birthday gifts this year. ;-)

-Since we have been reading the Bible together, I have also been keeping a prayer journal with the girls. We have really been trying hard to list blessings also instead of always focusing on what we want for others and ourselves. Lucy and Megan always mention how they are thankful for our warm home and food. That spurred the "some people don't have that discussion."

-Ahh...the glamorization of Kit, The American Girl continues. They have read the books, seen the movie and were really interested in the homeless shelter scene.

Of course, this experience was very different then would be during the Great Depression. They did have questions about where the families went after a month of being there and where they went to school. Mostly though, Megan and Lucy were just kids; enjoying the lasagna, apple juice and cookies with the other families, playing with a number of toys, and hopping around the living room in front of the tv. ;-)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

No Whining Club...Want to Join?

I admit I was getting into a rut the last few weeks. I was tired of winter. Tired from the workout plans from triathlon training. Tired from day to day responsibilites and decisions.

I didn't want my tiredness to effect the kids and I felt like it was. I reminded myself that I chose these things in my life. I want to experience a triathlon. I like to be busy and we aren't leaving Iowa any time soon and winters are just a part of Iowa's charm.

We have instilled a "No Whining Club" at our house and you can join every day. It involves a poster on our basement door with the word "whining" and a slash through it. Next to that is a place where we can put the date and write our names at the end of each day that we don't whine. Those that are members from that day enjoy a small reward at the end of the day. Rewards have ranged from ice cream, staying up later, watching some of a movie, and playing a game. If only one person is a member of the club they get to pick their reward that they enjoy all on their own.

Lucy and Megan have done really well with this. They got such a kick out of last Sunday where they had a rough time and I came home from my tri workout and announced that I had whined. Of course, they wanted to hear all about the circumstances and I told them how we had been using these arm paddles in our swim workout. They were heavy and although they are supposed to help make us stronger in the water, my arms had felt like mush after using them 15 minutes. The coach then announced for everyone to do five more laps with paddles and I had whined about it. ;-) Daddy then made a big production out of being the only member of the No Whining Club for that day. He hummed happily as he signed his name on the poster. He popped popcorn and settled in on the couch for a movie....of his choice...all by himself. ;-)

Our club is here to stay for awhile. It does keep us all in check.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Free Denny's Breakfast on February 3, 2009

Need a reason to go out for breakfast? From 6 AM-2 PM, Denny's is giving out free Grand Slam Breakfasts. Why? I have no idea, but everyone should start their day with breakfast anyway so why not at Denny's?

Tuesday is my teaching day and I am thinking this could be fun for Daddy and the kids before he runs them off to school and the babysitter's...I am sure it won't be much persuasion ...sausage....bacon....

Editor Update: Ok...maybe it will take some persuasion after all to drive to Davenport. After a quick restaurant locator there are evidently no Denny's in the area. I thought every city had one?!

For those of you out of town. Enjoy!

February is Here!

February is big at house and it is always a bit of a fun whirl wind. Lucy turns 5 on the 6th and Megan will be 7 on the 21st. Two big birthdays with Valentine's Day thrown in the week between to make sure we stay on track with all of the cookies, cake and candy.

Is it possible that I am the parent of a seven year old? Sometimes I still remember being 7 myself. Wanting to get my ears pierced (Megan does), selling Camp Fire Candy (Girl Scout Cookies for her), starting piano lessons, reading Ramona Quimby and thinking it is hysterical and just being a little more wise about the world.

Sometime the past few weeks, Megan has heard about Golden Birthdays. (Mine was when I turned 9 on Dec. 9th, Lucy's will be when she's 6 on Feb. 6th). Megan wanted to get hers all planned out and asked if we could go to Joe's Crab Shack on her Golden Birthday.

Dave and I smiled at each other thinking "that is probably not going to happen." When Megan is 21 on the 21st, her choice will probably not be Joe's Crab Shack...as much as we wish it were. ;-)